British Influences On The American And Canadian West: Capital, Cattle, And Clubs, 1870-1910
Holzaepfel, Todd David
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This dissertation seeks to show the evolution of the influence of British investment and culture in three representative regions in the American and Canadian West. The timeframe of the study corresponds roughly to the "Beef Bonanza" period in the Western United States (1870-1900) and from the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1880-1910) to the subject regions in Western Canada. Because the topic of British influence is vast the vehicle of English gentlemen's clubs in each of the six subject cities was chosen as the focus to this study. The Commercial Club, renamed the Fort Worth Club, the Denver Club and the Cheyenne Club were selected as the most famous gentlemen's clubs in the American West. The Assiniboia Club of Regina, the Ranchmen's Club of Calgary and the Union Club of Victoria, British Columbia were chosen because they are the most prominent clubs in the Canadian West. The individual English, Scottish and Irish gentlemen who immigrated to America and Canada and played instrumental roles in the development of the predominant industry, city infrastructure and gentlemen's club in their respective regions reflect the influence of British influence in those areas. The transatlantic exchange of financial investments between the London investors, the Dundee Company of Scotland and individual Irish investors and the subjects of their investment decisions in the American and Canadian West during this thirty year period is an important part of this study. The influence of British culture on the North American West as reflected in the popularization of polo, tennis, golf and squash and curling are examined.How the influences exerted by these English Irish and Scottish gentlemen and British investments in the American and Canadian West were enhanced or moderated by the variables of geography, climate, government policy, the local majority population, the Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific and other railroads, and other institutions such as the North West Mounted Police and the Hudson's Bay Company are also examined. The reasons for the reduction or continuation of the British influence in the six subject regions are discussed as well as the ongoing relationship of the six English gentlemen's clubs to their respective communities. The overall effort is to establish the relationship of English gentlemen's clubs as British institutions of culture and influence in the communities where they existed. Finally, the differences between the British influences in the American and Canadian West are analyzed and the causes for those differences are explained.